Mar 25, 2015

By Kim O'Hare

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The Ontario New Democrats want prevent a problem rather than wait until it occurs. The N.D.P. wants to ban high volume hydraulic fracking to produce natural gas from shale in Ontario, but the government says there’s no need to outlaw something that isn’t happening.

NDP environment critic Peter Tabuns has introduced a private member’s bill to have Ontario follow the lead of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and New York and ban fracking.

Tabuns says fracking, to crack shale deposits to free up natural gas for extraction,
poses substantial risks to ground water. The solution used for fracking combines toxic chemicals under extreme pressure and environmentalists say that can affect ground water and trigger seismic activity.

Tabuns says Ontario needs to impose a moratorium on fracking before companies come looking for licences to explore for natural gas.

However, Natural Resources Minister Bill Mauro says the Liberal government will not impose a moratorium on fracking.

Mauro says there are no applications to frack and no exploration going on for natural gas deposits in Ontario right now, and he’s not sure there’s enough potential gas in the province to attract companies.

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